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Archive 2012 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question
  
 
Will Patterson
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


M635_Guy wrote:
True, but difficult to do unless there are tickets that convey acceptance of terms or posted signs, etc. Even then, the rules on something like that on public property might prove hard to enforce. Private property is probably a whole other ball game...


Yep. A public event like that is no different than taking photos at a parade.



Aug 24, 2012 at 03:24 PM
BluesWest
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


According to Carolyn Wright (photoattorney.com): "Taking a photograph of another copyrighted work, be it a photo, a painting, a sculpture, or the like, is copyright infringement." So, if any of the works at this art fair were copyrighted and you photographed them, you were guilty of infringement.

Moreover, the event organizers may have had a general rule prohibiting photography (most indoor art displays have such a prohibition); in that case the organziers should have posted signs. Maybe they did and you didn't notice them? In any case, if there was an official prohibition against photography, you were obligated to honor it.

John



Aug 24, 2012 at 05:08 PM
M635_Guy
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


BluesWest wrote:
According to Carolyn Wright (photoattorney.com): "Taking a photograph of another copyrighted work, be it a photo, a painting, a sculpture, or the like, is copyright infringement." So, if any of the works at this art fair were copyrighted and you photographed them, you were guilty of infringement.

Moreover, the event organizers may have had a general rule prohibiting photography (most indoor art displays have such a prohibition); in that case the organziers should have posted signs. Maybe they did and you didn't notice them? In any case, if there was an official prohibition against photography, you were obligated to honor it.

John


[DISCLAIMER] - I'm not an attorney - what I've written is my understanding from many years of being forced to interact with IP attorneys Call it a semi-informed opinion that has every possibility of being wrong, especially since IP/Copyright/Trademark law is extremely nuanced and very hard to simplify for a poor marketing guy [/DISCLAIMER]

So...first of all, my understanding of copyright law is that an orignial work (photo, painting, sculpture, clay pot, whatever) is copyrighted as soon as it is created. You don't have to register to own the copyright - it is yours.

What kind of protection and actions you have available depends on registration and other things. But registration is NOT required for a copyright. That happens instantly.

Lastly, I think a fair bit of photography would come under the concept of Fair Use. If Carolyn Wright.com is stating that there is no such thing, I'm going to struggle mightily with (A) my understanding of the law or (B) her credentials/credibility as an attorney. (I'll check out her site later tonight)


Back to the original topic - how can they copyright a growing, changing natural thing they didn't create? I'd like to hear the attorney who posted earlier give us some thoughts on that. I get an apparent-derivative of the logo art itself.



Aug 24, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Two23
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


BluesWest wrote:
1. According to Carolyn Wright (photoattorney.com): "Taking a photograph of another copyrighted work, be it a photo, a painting, a sculpture, or the like, is copyright infringement." So, if any of the works at this art fair were copyrighted and you photographed them, you were guilty of infringement.

2. Moreover, the event organizers may have had a general rule prohibiting photography (most indoor art displays have such a prohibition); in that case the organziers should have posted signs. Maybe they did and you didn't notice them? In any case, if there was an official prohibition against photography, you were obligated to
...Show more


1. My brother is an attorney and he has told me that if you are actually trying to make a duplication/copy of the other's artwork, that would be an infringement. However, taking a photo that simply has a part of the artwork included in it would make that photo a whole new piece of art. The technical term for this is a "derivative work." So, my thinking is that taking some wide angle street shots would be perfectly legal.

2. I've not seen any posted or printed photography restrictions at any fairs I've been to. Most all have been on city property, no tickets required, and open to the public though. The people running the booth might technically be leasing their little spot and might have some control over that, but not the sidewalks and streets. I just can't imagine someone getting worked up enough to try and take you to court though. They would have to pay an attorney. They would also have to get your ID to even know who you were. This all sounds unlikely.


Kent in SD



Aug 25, 2012 at 04:17 AM
anthonysemone
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


So let me get this straight: I must honor a prohibition against photography if the venue/entity/exhibitor has prohibited it, yet such prohibitions are unknown to me? I call bull****


Aug 25, 2012 at 12:26 PM
millsart
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


Craig Gillette wrote:
Property owners can control the activity on their property. If the city leases out space to an event, the lease holders can control activity on the property. There's really nothing dramatic about this.


And if the event organizer doesn't have stipulations specifically banning photography, which I've never seen at an outdoor art fair, then what right does a booth owner have to demand what one can or can't do as their own booth rental fee doubtfully gives them any acting rights as a property owner ?

Furthermore, for an event like an arts festival, which is held on city streets downtown typically, really lease out public property in that manner ?

I would expect them to issue a permit, allowing vending and gathering et al, but are they ever really saying to the event promoter "here you go, our public streets and sidewalks are now yours for 48 hours to do whatever you want with"

Basically, can public property really become private property at the drop of a hat ?

If so, what is to prevent police and other agencies from blocking lawful gatherings and demonstrations but simply saying that a given space is no longer public property ?

Whats to prevent law enforcement from blocking people from taking pictures of a crime scene from a safe distance on public property by simply saying its no longer public ?

I could see things done in a rented venue, but free events held on public streets ? Scary country we live in these days....



Aug 25, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Glenn NK
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


dcains wrote:
IMO, that seems a bit ridiculous. What possible commercial value would a picture of a picture have? We're not talking about a copy made in a studio under ideal conditions, just casual shots in a public venue. If one were to judge the original work based on those casual shots, that's equally ridiculous. Sounds like the "artist" might have more ego than talent.


Suppose you were exhibiting and selling your photography prints, and another photographer set up his tripod and camera, and started taking pictures of your prints.

Would that be OK?

Glenn



Aug 25, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Craig Gillette
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


Pay attention. It can't be any simpler than this. A property owner can control activities on his property. It's that simple. "Public property" is not yours. The city (county, state, federal government) can rent out the park, the street, the gazebo, the rec center, the playing field, the Lincoln Bedroom, for private activities. It happens all the time. The person renting the space can choose to allow or restrict entrance, fees, activities, etc., etc.

Here's a simple example. L.A. County owns the Hollywood Bowl. They allow tourists to enter it at various times, for free. Just park, get out of the car and walk right in. However, at some point on the day of an event, control is transferred, legally, by lease or whatever, to a producer, the L.A. Phil, etc. That organization sets it's own policies, rules, admissions fees, terms of admission, etc. Now you can't drive up and park without paying, can't waltz in without paying. And they can be very serious about photography, especially if you make noise, fire flashes, etc.

Ever seen a location shoot for a movie or TV program? These are shot on public property all the time. You can shoot from the outside in (and they may well try to block or obscure viewing angles, etc.,) but try to get into "their" area, you will easily find out the legal authority they have to control entry, photography, etc.

Most of these little local art shows probably don't even consider controlling photography but that's not the same as suggesting they don't have the right to do so. Sports leagues, etc., do it all the time to restrict outside commercial shooters who could cut into the revenue stream.



Aug 26, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Ben Horne
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


Glenn NK wrote:
Suppose you were exhibiting and selling your photography prints, and another photographer set up his tripod and camera, and started taking pictures of your prints.

Would that be OK?

Glenn



Whenever I hear artists say that, it sure seems like they are very insecure. If they're *that* secretive about their techniques and final results, then perhaps they shouldn't sell them in the first place. Also, if their work is so easy to copy --- perhaps they should pursue something a bit more elaborate.

I've done quite a few shows before where I showcase my photographic prints. All the other artists around me have "no photography" signs all over their displays. I don't have that policy with my setup. When people ask me if they can have their photo taken next to my prints, or take a casual snapshot --- I really don't mind. I see it as a form of flattery. Often times, they ask if they can take a photo *with* me next to a given piece. There's nothing they can do with those photos that bothers me. First of all, it's not going to be a good photo --- they're photographing a very reflective high gloss print. Secondly, they will never get anywhere near the quality of the original photo. If anything, it'll help them remember my work in the future.



Aug 26, 2012 at 02:51 AM
B SMOOTH
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


trenchmonkey wrote:
I hope you told him to leaf you alone


^^^^^^

*insert rim-shot*

"he's here all week folks..."



Aug 26, 2012 at 11:18 AM
 

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campyone
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


I've been politely asked by women selling "art" hats and clothing to not make photographs of their stuff and I was happy to comply. There's a concern (legitimate IMHO) on their part that someone is going to use the photographs to rip off their designs. But otherwise I've never had a problem photographing at these types of events, certainly never been told not to carry a camera around.

FWIW, I'm not sure this is a legal matter as much as it is a question of the rules of the exhibition/fair. If the sponsor's rules say no photos then I'd abide by that. If there are no rules relating to photography then I'd photograph unless asked not to by a particular exhibitor. They may or may not have the legal right to prevent you from making a photograph of their stuff but I try to be courteous and frankly I've never seen anything at an art fair that I thought would make such a great photograph that I was willing to get into a big argument over it.

As for your particular situation, absent specific rules I would have told the lady to eff off if she tried to prevent me from carrying my camera around.



Aug 26, 2012 at 12:16 PM
anthonysemone
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


Pay close attention. It can't be any simpler than this: if I don't have specific notice of such prohibitions with respect to some particular activity created by the lessors of the venue as prohibited. I DON"T HAVE TO ABIDE BY SQUAT. While IANAL, failure to provide to me conspicuous notice of requirements would, at least in PA, be an affirmative defense. Let me cite an analogy. PA has a state-wide (ignoring the crap local mayors are trying to introduce) firearms pre-emption laws which assert that, ABSENT DUE NOTICE, if I have a permit to carry a firearm concealed on or about my person, I can carry it anywhere, legally, where Federal Law does not prohibit it. Even in that case, e.g., Post Offices, the law requires that the PO place conspicuous notice prohibiting the carry of firearms into the building. So also with Court Houses, Federal and Commonwealth, although in Commonwealth Courts, the availability of secure storage is mandated by State Law.. The point is simple: if it's prohibited activity, for me to be legally bound by the prohibition, I have to have affirmative notice.

In the crotchety old lady scenario, the issue seems to be whether or not her verbal utterances constitute due notice. Were it a firearm I was carrying, assuming she knew it (which would have meant that I was acting stupidly by revealing it), and she told me that I couldn't do that in front of or in her stand, in PA, and if I told her to kiss off, the most I can be subject to is a warning to leave the property, and if I refuse, then I could be charged with criminal trespass. Sorta like exists at a Mall or a (CO)movie theater , many of which post signs barely readable, let alone noticeable, prohibiting weapons carry on their premises. In PA such a sign does not prohibit my carry, it simply serves to announce that, if Im noticed or engage in the duly announced and published, prohibited activity, I must first be told to leave, and only then if I refuse can the Mall Ninjas call local LE and have me arrested for criminal trespass.

You might want to check with your State AG's office for the laws in your jurisdiction.



Aug 26, 2012 at 12:27 PM
michaelnel
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


I was in North Beach in San Francisco a few days ago, and was photographing a sign on a sandwich board on the sidewalk. A woman came out of the store and said "It's OK if you photograph the sign, but you can't photograph the things in the window". Now I had previously no intention whatsoever of photographing the touristy crap she had in the window, but I suddenly wanted very strongly to photograph that stuff. I told her that I am on a public sidewalk and she has her stuff in plain view from the public space, so if I want to photograph it I will. I proceeded to pretend to photograph the junk while she fumed.

Another day I was walking down a busy street in SF's SOMA district and saw a nice, restored '66 Pontiac GTO parked on the street. I took a couple pictures from the street and the sidewalk, and suddenly this Latino jerk in a wifebeater and tats (actually they looked like prison tats) all over his heavily muscled arms and shoulders came busting out of a doorway and said "Hey man, move along, you can't photograph that car!". Again, I told him it was parked in a public place and I was standing on public property, and I proceeded to continue photographing it. If he had touched me, I would have had him arrested for battery. He just stood there and glared at me.

What's with these people?



Aug 26, 2012 at 02:19 PM
vsg28
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


If that latino guy had come up to me all angry, I would have probably complied with him


Aug 26, 2012 at 02:47 PM
baabbott
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


Most museums allow photography (without flash) of works worth millions.
So the "craft fair lady" wants to prohibit someone taking snapshots of her "priceless" treasures.
I guess some people are so insecure that they feel that this kind of behavior is the only "power" they possess in this world.
I've been in this exact situation and I just keep shooting as if they are not there, because as far as I'm concerned, they're NOT 'all there'.
And...I'll take a picture of any tree I feel like, and the Pebble Beach elitists can go suck a golf ball.



Aug 26, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Micky Bill
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


I can see the point of the art fair people not wanting people taking photos of the their stuff especially 2D art...it may cut back on sales. If sort of like something but not really really like it maybe a snapshot would be ok for me to look at once in a while on my monitor instead of buying a print and having it on my wall.
Sounds like a llttle rudeness on both sides of the camera in most of these situations.



Aug 26, 2012 at 04:55 PM
M635_Guy
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p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


Craig Gillette wrote:
Pay attention. It can't be any simpler than this. A property owner can control activities on his property. It's that simple. "Public property" is not yours. The city (county, state, federal government) can rent out the park, the street, the gazebo, the rec center, the playing field, the Lincoln Bedroom, for private activities. It happens all the time. The person renting the space can choose to allow or restrict entrance, fees, activities, etc., etc.

Here's a simple example. L.A. County owns the Hollywood Bowl. They allow tourists to enter it at various times, for free. Just park, get out
...Show more

Pay attention, eh? How about you pay attention to the details of the discussion? Your examples are nearly irrelevant to the discussion at hand... You could use a lesson in manners, too. This has been a pretty good exchange IMHO (except your post).

Here's how it nets out (in my opinion):

Can you trademark a tree so that no-one is allowed to photograph it? No. There is no original act of creation, and the visage of the tree is ever-changing. I can't imagine it would stand up in court.

Can the owner of private property limit photography on their property? Yes. This is probably the actual limitation that is trying to be enforced for CypressGate, not trademark/copyright. Trademark/copyright just sounds more official...

Can the owner of private property limit photography of something on their property taken off their property? No. (with possible exceptions around invasion of privacy, etc.)

Can someone leasing a public venue (e.g. stadium, et. al) limit use of photographic equipment? Yes, with proper notification, via tickets, signs, etc. Given that every phone on the planet seems to have a damn decent camera, this seems a little useless.

Can the "owner" of a booth on public property (leased or not) at an event where there are no tickets, etc. conferring
a limitation on photography demand that someone refrain from taking photos? No, unless those photos are exclusively for copying their copyrighted work. Creative photography (or frankly just snapshots) that happens to include their work aren't protected due to Fair Use/Derivative Work.





Aug 27, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Craig Gillette
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p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


The art fairs I've seen haven't made any sort of generalized notice regarding photography. Most haven't even created any sort of controlled space or charged admission, but a few have. Some of the vendors have requested there be no photography of their products and generally they seemed to be the sort that had either individualized aspects or could be readily replicated.


In any event, here's this again.
http://www.krages.com/ThePhotographersRight.pdf

"Property owners may legally prohibit
photography on their premises
but have no right to prohibit others
from photographing their property
from other locations. Whether you
need permission from property owners
to take photographs while on their
premises depends on the circumstances.
In most places, you may reasonably
assume that taking photographs
is allowed and that you do not
need explicit permission. However,
this is a judgment call and you should
request permission when the circumstances
suggest that the owner is likely
to object. In any case, when a property
owner tells you not to take photographs
while on the premises, you are
legally obligated to honor the request."



Aug 27, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Craig Gillette
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p.3 #19 · p.3 #19 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


Since we crossed posts, I guess I'll plead guilty to actually being rude to photographers. Apparently it's acceptable to discuss being rude to others but to actually be rude to a photographer is off-limits.

For those who haven't yet read it, read the pdf.



Aug 27, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Craig Gillette
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p.3 #20 · p.3 #20 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question


For those interested, the tree is discussed here:

http://www.pebblebeach.com/

There is at least one image on the site, identified with an outside copyright credit. The logo is used frequently, discussed as a brand, etc. There's no direct discussion, that I saw, prohibiting it's photography. Discussing their "brands," there is a contact point for uses and permissions.



Aug 27, 2012 at 03:00 AM
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